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Old February 24th, 2010, 10:34 AM
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Default Buying Photos - verrrrry expensive

We alway buy one or two formal photos on whatever ship we are sailing on.

RCL used to give a coupon for a free 8X10 but not anymore. We did have a coupon on our Zuiderdam for a free photo so decided we would also buy a couple more. (As we used to with RCL).

Price - $39.99 - way too pricey. RCL were $19.99 and that was expensive enough but $40 is ridiculous.

It costs them what - $0.15 cents?

Really a rip...............
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:11 PM
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Biggest rip off in all of cruising. Very disappointing as the you want to take the memories home
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:22 PM
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They are a rip-off. That's why we don't buy them anymore. We have enough from our previous 50+ cruises which cost around $5-6 and we could buy a single picture and not some package.

Take your own camera and have someone take a couple of formal pictures for you.

The last couple of times we have been on the ships, they had a line for "picture" and another for "no picture". We thought this was great.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:58 PM
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When I first started to cruise I would buy every picture of us. Now I buy one picture , The embarkation Photo. It cost way too much now , Its cheaper if you take your own Photos
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 05:57 PM
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You're all right. We've always managed to have a coupon from somewhere for at least one free picture so we've always come home with one. The last cruise on the Zuiderdam was the same - one free so I decided to buy a second to discover it was $39.95!!! I nearly choked on that price. At least on RCL there are $19.99.

Actually I would call this highway robbery.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 12:52 PM
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Interesting to see you were able to get coupons for the pictures.
Could you share how to get those?
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Old March 4th, 2010, 02:41 PM
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We use to buy every single picture...now we do the same as Earl...we buy the embarkation photo only.

For example: On our last cruise we were hurried, tired and struggling with our two carry-ons, my purse and our coats, but we stopped for the embarkation photo anyway, and we're soooo glad we did. The photo captured that moment on embarkation of mixed emotion on our faces, of "we're so tired and yet so happy to FINALLY be here". We just love it and are so glad we stopped to take it.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 04:07 PM
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We haven't bought a cruise picture in 5 years, will not buy in the future either. We can be very happy with our little digital pics..

Nita
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Old March 4th, 2010, 04:35 PM
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The only picture I would pay $40 for is one that shows me on a cruise with someone else's wife.

We haven't bought a cruise ship picture in years and the ones we have are "freebies". The prices are ridiculous.

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Old March 5th, 2010, 07:13 PM
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I'm a bit surprised that the embarkation photo is popular...after getting up early to travel on the plane, waiting everywhere, and in the cruise terminal too, I just don't feel up to that photo....that's just me, so we walk on by....

$40.00 for a picture is something I would just not do
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Old March 5th, 2010, 08:22 PM
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I agree with Trip ! I generally look like "death warmed over" as we board the ship. We bypass that line as quickly as we can. We usually buy one formal picture every few years because our family want's a picture. It's less expensive than having a professional photo taken at home :o!
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Old March 6th, 2010, 06:28 AM
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We usually buy one or two photos on each of our cruises. However, we want to hold down the cost and be selective. If you are not careful, you wind up with too many of those $10 - $20 photos. Here is what we do:

If we see a photo we might want, we do not buy it immediately. Instead we have the photo shop save it in a file behind the photo desk. (They do it by room number.) On the last day of the cruise we look over all the photos we have saved and buy only the best ones, if any.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zdgp View Post
We usually buy one or two photos on each of our cruises. However, we want to hold down the cost and be selective. If you are not careful, you wind up with too many of those $10 - $20 photos. Here is what we do:

If we see a photo we might want, we do not buy it immediately. Instead we have the photo shop save it in a file behind the photo desk. (They do it by room number.) On the last day of the cruise we look over all the photos we have saved and buy only the best ones, if any.
Thats exactly what we do. Never ever buy until the end of the cruise but now that the prices have doubled chances of buying any photos unless we have a coupon for one or a discount coupon that's something that will also pass.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
The only picture I would pay $40 for is one that shows me on a cruise with someone else's wife.


Take care,
Mike
Mike ....... !!!!

Didn't get any photos on my first cruise. I was alone and that would have felt just plain weird. BUT on my 2nd cruise coming up next month, DH will be with me and I definitely want to see what we look like on embarkation.

(Don't want a debarkation photo though cause I expect I'll be sobbing).
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Old March 6th, 2010, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimbopolo View Post
Mike ....... !!!!

Didn't get any photos on my first cruise. I was alone and that would have felt just plain weird. BUT on my 2nd cruise coming up next month, DH will be with me and I definitely want to see what we look like on embarkation.

(Don't want a debarkation photo though cause I expect I'll be sobbing).
You won't be sorry...Embarkation photo's are one of my favorites...

Since it's just my husband and I cruising, usually there's just a photo of me in front of ?...or then theres a photo of my husband in front of ?, then a photo of me with our new cruising friends then a photo of my husband and our new friends...to get one of the both of us we have to snag a fellow passenger or buy one taken by the ships photographer.

If we cruised often then I could see not spending the money since the ship's photo's are really expensive...but since when we cruise it's an event...we don't mind buying ONE or two of my husband and I together. (we DO limit what we buy because of the cost. zdgp idea is a good one too..wait until the end of the cruise and pick the best that you like.)
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Old March 6th, 2010, 07:05 PM
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They can only charge these prices because people are willing to pay. If they wouldn't, prices will drop. That's the rule of the market.

I always trade my camera or the SD card with a person that I trust and so I make sure that I'll be on many pictures on my own camera.

The best rip off I have seen so far: Pictures from a dolphin swim in Cozumel, a short DVD plus a set of photos for 349 USD. Several people stated that in their reviews and you can still read in some that "it was worth the money".

I don't know why they are so stupid. No business sense at all. Charge less and more people buy and they make more money eventually! We all know what photo paper and ink cost?
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Old March 8th, 2010, 12:32 PM
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I've never bought a photo from a ship .I take lots of pictures with my camera ,thats sufficient
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Old March 10th, 2010, 10:14 AM
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We purchased a photo book on our last cruise. We were supposed to be able to go on-line and upload our own photos and have the photos we purchased uploaded by HAL. We were also told we would have access to "thousands" of stock photos. It took 2 months for the site to upload our HAL photos. The stock photos were around 20 not thousands. Also, they were mislabeled. What they said was Aruba was Curacao. We did manage to create the book but it did not come out as expected. The site (Panraven) was not user friendly. In the future we will simply upload our photos to another more user friendly site and create our book ourselves.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:39 PM
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Felix, an 8 by 10 is $25. However what the Zuiderdam does is they force you to buy the whole sheet which is an 8 by 10, a 5 by 7, and 2 wallets. A good price if you want all, but if you only want the 8 by 10, not so good. When we were on the Westerdam we were allowed to buy the 8 by 10. I guess it depends on who is running the photo area, but the photographer at the desk simply cut off the rest and threw it away. I was not happy.

What upset me even more, was we had a coupon (previous cruiser), buy (I think) three 8 by 10s and get one free, if we counted the larger $40 sheet we had three 8 by 10s, but it did not work that way, we had to buy 3 of the larger sheets, and then we would get larger sheet free, we could not count the larger sheet to get a free 8 by 10.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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They can only charge these prices because people are willing to pay. If they wouldn't, prices will drop. That's the rule of the market.

I always trade my camera or the SD card with a person that I trust and so I make sure that I'll be on many pictures on my own camera.

The best rip off I have seen so far: Pictures from a dolphin swim in Cozumel, a short DVD plus a set of photos for 349 USD. Several people stated that in their reviews and you can still read in some that "it was worth the money".

I don't know why they are so stupid. No business sense at all. Charge less and more people buy and they make more money eventually! We all know what photo paper and ink cost?
My daughter did the dolphin swim at Cozumel through Princess in 2006. At that time it was $100. Wow-that has gone up.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 08:29 PM
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I know. Haven't seen it with my own eyes but was browsing some activities at Cozumel, something with Dolphins I would like and I saw these reviews and still cannot believe this price. Maybe the pics are printed on real gold?
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Old March 11th, 2010, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
I'm a bit surprised that the embarkation photo is popular...after getting up early to travel on the plane, waiting everywhere, and in the cruise terminal too, I just don't feel up to that photo....that's just me, so we walk on by....

$40.00 for a picture is something I would just not do
Trip,

I know what you mean. This is the embarkation photo of my wife, Betty, and I just before our last cruise. We had a terrible flight and little sleep. The dang picture cost us $25.



Take care,
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Old March 11th, 2010, 11:10 PM
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Oh my gosh we saw you boarding!!! But I have to admit you both look a lot younger in person...

Just love Betty's dress and matching shoes...the little hankie in the pocket is just priceless.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 08:27 AM
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We have bought a few embarkation photos, but normally we don't, for the very reason you guys say. We look so terrible.

One reason I am willing to buy ship's photos is I usually look better in the ship's photos than I do in random snapshots. (especially the formal night photos) and instead of going to a photographer studio yearly to get a family photo done, we just get the ship's photo, usually formal night.

Professional photographers are expensive, even "bargain" studios such as Olan Mills, are pricey for what they give you, and usually those bargain places, the photos are not very good.

I am sure the photographers on ship touch up the photos to make you look better. I guess though, the embarkation photos are so bad at times, there is little they can do. !


I don't begrudge the cruise line the price of photos too much, when I think they have been fair. (see my previous post about the so called coupon)

My hubby and I don't gamble, he drinks a little, I do hardly at all, we need to give the ship some extra money on something! !
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Old March 12th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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Well Mike, although you had a fight and little sleep, it appears your wife at least took time to comb her hair and shave prior to embarkation, which, according to the photo is more than you did !!
And besides, no better place to make up than on a cruise!

Re/ the photos and prices, we always, even after 35 or so cruises take the embarkation photo as a souvenir, if nothing else to just look back over time and see how we've changed and too, sometime when we're gone, the kids and grandkids will have something to look and laugh at and hopefully say
" Mom and Dad had a good time."
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix_the_cat View Post
We alway buy one or two formal photos on whatever ship we are sailing on.

RCL used to give a coupon for a free 8X10 but not anymore. We did have a coupon on our Zuiderdam for a free photo so decided we would also buy a couple more. (As we used to with RCL).

Price - $39.99 - way too pricey. RCL were $19.99 and that was expensive enough but $40 is ridiculous.

It costs them what - $0.15 cents?

Really a rip...............
Felix,
I understand your feelings about the prices.
But you have missed just a bit about why they charge so much.

In recent years, environmental issues have become very important with anything onboard that involves chemicals. In the "good old days" the ship's photographers just dumped the chemicals down the drain (and they ended up in the ocean). The unsold photos were dumped into the ship's incinerator. Today they must all be saved and offloaded in port as "foreign hazardous waste".
The licensed hazardous waste disposal comapnies charge outrageous amounts of money for their services. They double their prices when the hazardous waste is labeled "foreign". Since nearly every cruise ship is "foreign", these fellows make out pretty well.
My ship is now paying about $60,000 per week to dispose of these chemicals and leftover photos. Who do you think those costs are being passed on to??

In todays market, the cruise lines are grabbing at every possible revenue source to increase their profits and prevent fare increases.
On most cruise lines the photo department is a concession. Just like in a shopping mall the concession must pay rent and other costs to the cruise line. They also agree to pay a rather large chunk of their revenues back to the cruise line. The concession on my ship is currently paying 65% of all their revenues back to my company. They have also agreed to pay a minimum amount to us - even if they don't make their revenue targets.

So the photo concession on my ship must cover the $60,000 disposal fee every week, and pay 65% of their revenues to me. They must also pay rent for their retail space and for the crew cabins for their photographers, for the food their photographers get from us, and for any medical care we give them. They also have to pay the cabin stewards that clean the cabins for the photographers.

Then they must somehow pay for the approximately $750,000 worth of photographic equipment they have onboard (cameras, strobes, backdrops, computers, point of sale machines, print processors, etc.)

Then they need to cover the regular business expenses; flying their staff to and from the ship, wages, insurance, repairs, maintenance, etc.

And finally they must try to make a profit to keep them in business.
The 15 cents per photo you quoted doesn't quite cover it.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
Felix,
I understand your feelings about the prices.
But you have missed just a bit about why they charge so much.

In recent years, environmental issues have become very important with anything onboard that involves chemicals. In the "good old days" the ship's photographers just dumped the chemicals down the drain (and they ended up in the ocean). The unsold photos were dumped into the ship's incinerator. Today they must all be saved and offloaded in port as "foreign hazardous waste".
The licensed hazardous waste disposal comapnies charge outrageous amounts of money for their services. They double their prices when the hazardous waste is labeled "foreign". Since nearly every cruise ship is "foreign", these fellows make out pretty well.
My ship is now paying about $60,000 per week to dispose of these chemicals and leftover photos. Who do you think those costs are being passed on to??

In todays market, the cruise lines are grabbing at every possible revenue source to increase their profits and prevent fare increases.
On most cruise lines the photo department is a concession. Just like in a shopping mall the concession must pay rent and other costs to the cruise line. They also agree to pay a rather large chunk of their revenues back to the cruise line. The concession on my ship is currently paying 65% of all their revenues back to my company. They have also agreed to pay a minimum amount to us - even if they don't make their revenue targets.

So the photo concession on my ship must cover the $60,000 disposal fee every week, and pay 65% of their revenues to me. They must also pay rent for their retail space and for the crew cabins for their photographers, for the food their photographers get from us, and for any medical care we give them. They also have to pay the cabin stewards that clean the cabins for the photographers.

Then they must somehow pay for the approximately $750,000 worth of photographic equipment they have onboard (cameras, strobes, backdrops, computers, point of sale machines, print processors, etc.)

Then they need to cover the regular business expenses; flying their staff to and from the ship, wages, insurance, repairs, maintenance, etc.

And finally they must try to make a profit to keep them in business.
The 15 cents per photo you quoted doesn't quite cover it.
Sorry, I'm not going to buy that. If they are paying that kind of money then they are fools. It is not necessary to even print the darn pictures until they're bought. They can be digitally previewed and the customer can choose which ones they want before they are printed.

The cruiseline and photographic company know full well only a tiny percentage of all those photos they print are going to be sold. It just isn't necessary to print masses of non-used photos.

I don't sympathize with them at all. $40 is not worth the cost of an 8 x 10 photo that isn't that good to begin with.

As for the cost of staff and equipment, that's the name of the game. My DH has a heck of a lot of tools in his trade too and he doesn't use that as an excuse. Those cameras etc last a long time. They are written off on taxes. $750,000 divided over how many years and how many ships?

I've spoken to too many photographers - those pictures are not worth $5 - never mind $40.
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Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
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NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

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Old March 23rd, 2010, 01:52 PM
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Mike M, That's too funny, we have one like that and it's our honeymoon picture. HaHaHa.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 02:16 PM
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Unless you're a newbie, you know the routine...we choose to pose for the photos..they're not candid shots. If we want to buy them we can...or not.

I don't feel angry or frustrated that the cruise lines offer this service and they're free to charge what they feel the market will bear. The cruise lines are not our personal friends, they're in business to make a profit. I can chose to use their services or not. Easy.

I've own a business and I charged what I thought what was fair for my time, energy and skill. I've had potential clients who thought my fees were to high and chose not to use my services...and that's o.k it was their option. But I didn't say, "Oh you feel my fee's are too high...o.k..what do you feel is fair? Trust me, that didn't happen.

I think printing up the photos is a clever business ploy...(not always a bad thing!) because they know it's a different emotion in operation when you are physically holding or touching a product then when you're just looking at a digital photo of same.

If we're not in the mood or just don't want professional type photos then we just don't go to the area where the photographers are...
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Old March 24th, 2010, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by felix_the_cat View Post
Sorry, I'm not going to buy that. If they are paying that kind of money then they are fools. It is not necessary to even print the darn pictures until they're bought. They can be digitally previewed and the customer can choose which ones they want before they are printed.

The cruiseline and photographic company know full well only a tiny percentage of all those photos they print are going to be sold. It just isn't necessary to print masses of non-used photos.

I don't sympathize with them at all. $40 is not worth the cost of an 8 x 10 photo that isn't that good to begin with.

As for the cost of staff and equipment, that's the name of the game. My DH has a heck of a lot of tools in his trade too and he doesn't use that as an excuse. Those cameras etc last a long time. They are written off on taxes. $750,000 divided over how many years and how many ships?

I've spoken to too many photographers - those pictures are not worth $5 - never mind $40.
Felix,

Maybe they are fools.
I agree that the photos are not worth the money.
But if they want to work on my ship, that's what they have to charge in order to make a profit. I wouldn't pay that kind of money, but maybe it's just me.
The $750,000 investment in equipment is PER SHIP. Quite a large investment to service, don't you think? The company I work for has 16 ships. That's $12 Million in total.

It is true that we know full well that only a small percentage of the total photos printed will actually be sold.
Logically, we should arrange to allow the passengers to view them on a screen and then print only the ones they want to buy.

Would you be surprised to know that we have already tested that idea many times on many ships? It didn't work.

People tend to purchase photos as an impulse buy. If they have to wait to print them, they purchase far fewer.
Despite the added cost and space necessary to display all those photos, we sell twice as many by printing them all.

When taking the volume of photos a ship's photographer takes, the equipment wears out rather quickly. On my ship they snap around 50,000 photos per cruise.

You mentioned writing off the value of the equipment against taxes. But you must realize that in order to do that, you first must make enough money to BE taxed in the first place. Not an easy thing for maritime photo companies to do these days.
Just a few years ago there were many different large photo companies that specialized in taking photos on cruise ships. Most have been bankrupted; there are just 2 left now. They are barely hanging on and will be gone before long.

With the high operating costs driving the photo prices to ridiculous highs, the cruise lines taking bigger and bigger bites of profits, passengers with digital cameras, passengers photographing the photos on display - instead of buying them, and passengers stealing photos from the galleries, it shouldn't be too long before this entire photo gallery concept wil be a thing of the past.
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